In this article we'll be looking at creating your own keyword lists from scratch for importing into Lightroom. Mastering this skill will enable you to take full control over the organisation management of your Lightroom catalogue, and if you're a neat-freak perfectionist like I am, this should be a very satisfying new skill.
It is possible to create your keyword lists from within Lightroom, but this is a tedious and cumbersome process meant for a couple of tags at a time. If you want to create a list or multiple lists with many keywords, this is the quickest way to do that. Let's look at how it's done:
What you'll need
The majority of this exercise is done OUTSIDE of Lightroom, so you will need the following things for that:
I'm using the handy Foundation List found over on Lightroom Keyword List Project already installed in my catalogue. It is important to have a set structure to work with, so if you are doing this for the first time, use a pre-made list and create your new list structure according to that so that everything stays in place. I will explain this in a bit:
1. Create the list
Using the structure of your base list (I use the Foundation List from Lightroom Keyword List Project), create a similar structure for your new list. See the example of the Foundation List above.
Alternatively, you can create a basic structure within Lightroom: a couple of Parent Keywords, Children and Double Children, including "Do not export" keywords and synonyms, then export this structure using Metadata > Export Keywords... to create a file from which you can obtain the keyword list structure.
In my example for this article I will be making a list of the South African Biomes. They are:
So now I have my list ready. I have decided that I'll put this under the ~WHERE section of my base list, and I will categorise it as ~BIOMES to keep it separate from the rest of my location tags.
Before we continue, let's look at some important things to remember when creating keyword lists for Lightroom.
The basic rules for creating your list structure are:
The basic structure of your keyword list is as follows:
<tab><tab>Double Child Keyword
Depending on your list, you can now add Triple Child Keywords (press Tab three times, etc), and synonyms. For this example, we will be keeping it very simple.
Your plain text file should now look like this:
Make sure that your plain text editor saves the file as a .txt file, and save it to a location where you can easily find it from within Lightroom.
Close the editor and open Lightroom.
2. Import your new Keyword List
Using the steps as in my article How to Import Keyword Lists into Lightroom, import your new list.
If you have used the correct structure, your list will integrate seamlessly with the original base list, and the list items will appear in alphabetical order and you are ready to start tagging using your very own keyword list!
If you have any questions, or need assistance with this exercise, please contact me.
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